Amazon able to reopen French warehouses

Amazon able to reopen French warehouses
Photo: Frederic Legrand - COMEO /

Amazon can get back to work in France: the online retailer has reached an agreement with the unions on a phased restart of its distribution centres, after five weeks of inactivity.


Two phases

Amazon is returning to its activities in France from 19 May, following an agreement with the trade unions. The unions announce a partial resumption of work on a voluntary basis between 18 May and 2 June. The restart will take place in two phases, each lasting a week.


Before 25 May, a maximum of 50 % of the employees may return to work, entirely on a voluntary basis. In the next phase, a second wave of employees will be invited to resume work. 80 % of the staff will then be asked whether they want to restart, but there is only a mandatory minimum occupancy of 50 %. Those who do not yet wish to resume work will retain their full salary, including night and weekend bonuses. Everyone should be back to work by 3 June.


Five weeks of consultation

In a press statement, Amazon thanks customers, employees and SMEs "who depend on Amazon to grow their business" for their support and patience. The company also mentions "five weeks of discussions in which we have repeatedly provided clarification and information about the security measures implemented in our distribution centres to protect our employees".


The issue began when the trade unions sued the American retailer for unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus outbreak. Following the subsequent conviction, Amazon decided to completely shut down its six French warehouses. Consumers could still order, but those orders were then sent from abroad or directly from the traders on the Amazon marketplace.